Shakib Al Hasan’s IPL Conundrum

Wordsmith: Subhani Alfi

Shakib Al Hasan has just been brought by Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping sum of 3.2 crore Indian Rupees for the upcoming edition of Indian Premier League T20.

It certainly was a piece of great news for Bangladeshi cricket lovers. I used “was” because it sadly isn’t anymore, as news just dropped that revealed The King of Bangladesh Cricket has asked for a time off national duties so that he can fully take part in the domestic league of our cricketing rivals. 

Reports are in that Shakib has asked to be rested from the Bangladesh vs Srilanka test series that’s set to clash with IPL that’s set to kick off from April.

People need money to live. More so when they have little family members incoming. It doesn’t matter if one’s a low-income guy or a middle-income guy or a millionaire super athlete. Everybody dreams of providing a dream life to his/her little offspring. 

Shakib Al Hasan is a father of two and is awaiting his third child. Like all of us, he’s also a human being. He has a family to look after. Which is why, no matter how much money he already has, if it’s not illegal money, it’s absolutely legal of him to cash in whatever opportunity is presented before him.

Shakib in hospital bed during his hand injury

Shakib Al Hasan has a very sad and disturbing history of injuries as well. Right from 2018, when he had a freakish finger injury, Shakib Al Hasan’s final stage of his cricketing career is plagued with these physical obstacles. Which is why, Bangladesh needs to give their premium all-rounder sufficient rest to get the best out of him in the remaining days of his already glorious career. It should also be noted that due to being an all-rounder, he has an extra workload.

So because of all this, it’s absolutely fine of him to give preference to a multi-million rupees deal in the Indian Premier League over a dead rubber test series. And it’s worth mentioning that Bangladesh is already and officially out of the World Test Championship title race.

However, amidst all this, what’s really not good is the poor choice of words that are used to “defend” Shakib’s action, whether it’s his ultra fans or international commentators. 

PR or Public Relations is a very important thing in today’s world. Because of PR, you can create a whole new fanbase. It doesn’t matter what’s inside of you, people can only see your outside. And for a celebrity, it certainly doesn’t matter what goes on in your house with your family, because all that matters is what people see on their digital screens. 

In Bangladesh, being a celebrity is as hard as facing Shakib Al Hasan on a Mirpur dust bowl wicket. And Shakib, out of all people, certainly knows that. Controversies and Shakib are probably a better pair than Mahmudullah and Shakib against New Zealand. Controversy is nothing new in Shakib’s life. It’s like a 70 overs old test cricket ball battered and bruised by Virender Sehwag’s hitting. Whether right or wrong, Shakib Al Hasan is frequently on the receiving end of criticisms. Whether not being present for the Bangladesh team group photo of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to serving a year-long ban – Shakib has experienced it all. 

So for a guy with so many controversies and scandals in the past, it’s a very risky decision for him to even consider skipping Bangladesh duties for the Indian Premier League. It just looks really bad to the fans. You can’t imagine Virat Kohli skipping Indian duties to take part in a charity event in his cricketing rival country Pakistan. And for Shakib, it’s not even a charity event. It’s an event that’ll give him a significant amount of bucks. So it’s expected that he’ll get flooded with all those ” greedy businessman” trolls.

Which is why, Shakib Al Hasan needs to handle it better in terms of public reputation. Reasons such as taking preparation for the T20 World Cup won’t do. Because Bangladeshi cricket fans are now sensible enough to realize that it’s not necessary for a cricketer of the subcontinent to take part in IPL to prepare himself for a T20 tournament that’s going to take place in India, that too, after almost four months.

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